To provide the go-to forum for retailers, manufacturers, consumer product companies, agriculture exporters, and other shippers to understand how existing and emergent technology is impacting their international and domestic freight transportation and logistics strategy. Sessions will be solutions-oriented around key logistics and trade processes, including transportation management, inventory management, procurement, visibility, and trade compliance, with a focus on what the next evolution of supply chain management technology looks like from an investment, change management, and strategic perspective. The goal is to provide shippers with actionable insight into what is coming next, where to invest, and what to implement.
INTO THE GREAT WIDE OPEN: HOW TECHNOLOGY IS RESHAPING THE MODERN LOGISTICS LANDSCAPE
Technology has always played a critical role in the movement of freight, but there's never been a time with more solutions available, more focus on new and potentially transformative concepts, and more confusion about how to navigate this environment. From blockchain, machine learning and autonomous vehicles to IoT, robotics and bots, shippers are being asked to go on an exciting but daunting ride that isn't without risk. Although some of these dynamic new technologies seem abstract to many logistics practitioners, the hurdles in front of them are concrete: a lack of funds to invest; a lack of clear technology-adoption strategies at the departmental and organizational level; and a lack of understanding of what these technologies mean to a shippers' bottom lines or performance. Many shippers still lack foundational-level tools to cope with the basics of their supply chain, much less the cutting-edge tools they are being asked to consider. And in the background, a massive universe of established software companies are striving to remain relevant with solutions that are widely used but are at risk of becoming obsolete. At a higher level, there is also the matter of how and why this latest wave of technology is being funded, and why it's important for shippers to know about the motivations of technology investors. All this could lead to a reshaping of the shipper-logistics provider and shipper-carrier dynamic, so a primary focus will be on examining what these new technologies will do to empower shippers to take processes in-house, and how effectively service providers will expand their technology capabilities to remain relevant themselves.
Attendees will return to their organizations armed with:
• Increased awareness of the existing landscape of logistics technology.
• A stronger understanding of how emergent technologies fit practically into existing supply chains.
• Enhanced capability to create an organizational strategy around logistics technology investment.
• An expanded network of peers with which to discuss technology topics.
• Transformative Logistics Technologies: Analysis of the existing and emerging concepts that will change the way freight moves internationally and domestically.
• Blockchain: The new internet, or an unwieldy and expensive database? Blockchain is sometimes called a solution in search of a problem, but there are some undeniably attractive logistics use cases for the technology.
• The VC View: The intense focus on logistics technology in recent years has been driven by a seemingly limitless capacity from venture capitalists looking to invest in the next big thing. But what is driving the VC world to invest so much in logistics, and why is that important to shippers?
• Wither the Intermediary? The underlying tensions within the current phase of logistics innovation is about who will remain and what their roles will be. Forwarders and freight brokers are at the heart of this discussion, especially as a large proportion of the technology aims to either enable them or wipe them out of the equation.
• Size Matters: Although logistics startups are making inroads with enterprise shippers, do they have the scale and scope to truly serve large, global shippers? Or will smaller, more niche solutions become more accepted as the norm for the largest BCOs?
• Shipper-Focused Case Studies: Practical applications of solutions in specific segments of the supply chain, including shipment management, port operations, drayage, air cargo, and more.